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wow Blue Posts Round-up: Dec 12

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Topics discussed today are reputation improvements for alts, fixes to tab targeting and communication standards.

Reputation Improvements

Patch 7.1 made dungeons gated behind the Nightfallen reputation account-wide. Players share their thoughts, mentioning the Pandaria reputation system as a solution to "the problem". If you haven't played during MoP, there were items such as Grand Commendation of the Shado-PanGrand Commendation of the Shado-Pan that increased the reputation gain on your entire count with a faction once you've reached Revered. Lore mentioned this was discussed during Q&A, but the developers need to know what "the problem" is before making any solutions. What are the items your alts need that are gated behind Legion faction reputation? Profession recipes? Wouldn't that just make professions less valuable if all your alts had access to them?

Blizzard LogoLore

In Mists, we have an awesome system where you could send tokens that doubled the rep earned for alts. Im not asking more than that. Just something, the system even already exists.

Please, dont make alts more harder than it already is. (and rerolls too)

We talked about this idea briefly on the Q&A the other day, but I'm interested in hearing more feedback. What do you feel you need access to that's locked behind a reputation for your alt? Most of the "big" unlocks - e.g. World Quests, access to Suramar dungeons - are now account-wide.

So, let me clarify my thoughts a bit, and why I asked for specifics:

Quite often, we see feedback that focuses on the solution instead of the problem. That's not a bad thing (in fact, it's quite natural and in many ways polite for someone who's trying to be helpful to suggest a fix for a problem), it's just that it occasionally means we have trouble tracking down what the actual core issue is that's causing you to present that solution.

Looking specifically at this topic: many of you are suggesting the MoP-style rep tokens as "the right fix." And maybe it is! But if we were to implement something like that, we need to know what it's fixing, because we might have a better way to solve the same problem. Or maybe we don't see it as a problem at all.

To use a dumb analogy, because I love analogies: say your roof has a leak, and every time it rains, water drips down through your ceiling and your carpet gets wet. You could keep a pot nearby that you put under the drip when it rains - that'd certainly solve the issue of damp carpet - but it's kind of inconvenient, and the leak is still there. It'd be a much better solution to fix the roof, so the leak stops happening entirely.

Or, you know, maybe you're actually in a gazebo and the carpet is supposed to get wet because it's weather-resistant and... okay, so this analogy isn't perfect. But hopefully I at least illustrated why I asked for specifics: maybe the solution is that the thing you want via rep should just be account-wide. Maybe it's already supposed to be account-wide, but there's a bug. Or maybe having to gain the reputation on your alt is an intended part of playing a second character.

This is mostly just me musing - there's some great info in this thread already that we can definitely talk about - but I thought it might be interesting or helpful to clarify.

(Source)

Fixing Tab Targeting

Tab targeting is definitely an issue in Legion and in Patch 7.1 it was reverted back to the same logic used in Warlords of Draenor. If you're experiencing any issues, there's an interesting thread about tab targeting on reddit.

Blizzard LogoLore

I know I am not alone in thinking how terrible tab targeting is in this expansion. And no, I don't think tab targeting is the best way to target in all situations, but it certainly is great to have a reliable version of tab targeting in many situations.

Why do we have to hit tab 3945828597109 times before the game finally gives in and (reluctantly) targets our intended target? Obviously that's exaggerated, but sometimes it does feel like it takes an eternity.

I took a break from the game starting in early WoD and came back shortly after the Legion launch, so I am not sure if this was an issue last xpac. But can we please have the MoP (and earlier xpacs) version of tab targeting? It used to be so much more efficient.

So, in 7.1, we actually reverted the tab targeting logic back to what it was prior to Patch 7.0. It should be functioning now exactly like it did during Warlords. I've personally found it much more reliable; if you're still having issues with it, did you have similar issues during Warlords?

(Source)

Standards of Communication

Patch 7.1.5 brought a lot of class changes, but there were no words from the developers. With tweaks to secondary stats, players have found themselves less powerful than on live. Since then, PTR communication has been a great topic of concern. It was discussed during the last Q&A that developers will be communicating more with the community regarding future changes, additions and more. We should expect the next Q&A somewhere during the first weeks of January around the release of Patch 7.1.5. This posts talks about means of communication and feedback. Twitter character limitations are both a curse and a gift, live Q&As aren't a good way to answer most of the questions and Lore admits the team's overall forum presence isn't the best and it's something they're trying to improve upon as a team. I entirely agree there should be more interviews. Do you think communication between developers and the community is more transparent in other games like HotS or Overwatch as opposed to WoW?

Blizzard LogoLore

On Twitter: Disagree that it's always the wrong approach, but it's definitely not always the right approach either. 140 characters is a blessing and a curse - it's harder to get a complete point across sometimes, yes, but it also forces things to be presented more concisely, which is great for certain types of feedback. We're not going to stop using Twitter, but we're continuing to learn about when it's not the right platform.

Also just as an aside, every account other than @WarcraftDevs should be treated as someone's personal account and not as the correct place to provide feedback or look for answers. That also means that it's completely their choice if they decide to mute or block someone. 

On the Q&As: I agree that the experiment in the last one to answer more spec-specific questions didn't go well. I honestly don't think the live Q&As are a good way to answer those questions at all. Even if we were to somehow narrow it down to only "legitimate" questions (aside: what criteria determine "legitimate" anyway?), there's far more to answer than we can possibly fit into one Q&A, so we're always going to leave something out.

Secondly, it's important to remember that not everyone follows fansites closely, or saw the BlizzCon panels, or even the other Q&As. AK alt catchup is a great example - despite all of the other places we talked about what's happening in 7.1.5, it was still one of the most-asked questions. I'm glad that you had already heard about it, but clearly a lot of others had not, which made it absolutely worth answering.

I do agree, though, that the Q&As work best when we either stick to broader topics, or focus the entire thing specifically on one topic (like we did with the Professions, PvP, etc. Q&As a few months ago). As a whole, it's a format we're still experimenting with. I can't promise they'll all be great, but I can promise that we'll learn from when they aren't.

On Interviews: Mostly agree, although it depends on the interviewer. You're not likely to see the hard-hitting questions coming from a major gaming publication, but you might from a community site, podcast, etc. Personally, I actually think we need a lot more interviews with those community sites, especially those that focus on more niche playstyles - it's a great way to get answers to those people without "wasting" everyone else's time.

On the forums: I actually completely agree with you here. Our forum presence sucks. It's a big issue that we're working to fix. That's part of why I'm here, posting this, and will continue to be around these forums as much as I can. Resolving this issue will take some time - if it can ever be completely resolved - but we're working on it.

It's worth mentioning that part of the issue - the general lack of dev posts - has been because they've been focusing as much of their time as possible into working on the game. Part of trying to keep patches coming at a good cadence means we need all hands on deck to get the work done, which means less time for the dev team to spend on the forums. That in turn means that, when the devs do get time for the forums, they spend the vast majority of it just reading, so they can absorb as much feedback as possible. So, the community team (including myself, but many others as well) need to step in to fill that gap, in a way that doesn't make you go "Ooh, a blue post! Ugh, it's just a CM." We haven't been, but we're going to.

On Reddit: I also like AMAs, and agree with your thoughts here. I do think that there are some topics where they might work much better than the Q&As, and while I don't want to say what those are for fear of over-promising, it's a cool idea that I'll circulate around.

On Patch Notes: I think a lot of the issues with patch notes are actually symptoms of some of the above issues. The designers' notes are definitely a good addition, but those are intended as little snippets of explanation for the player who doesn't really keep up with fansites, interviews, forums (well, when there's posts on them), etc. It shouldn't, whenever possible, be the first place that the person reading this thread heard about something, unless it really only needs a couple sentences to explain. If we need to give more detail, we should be doing that ahead of time and just referencing that explanation in the patch notes.

We've also heard loud and clear that you guys want PTR Patch Notes back. It's a tough situation for us to solve, though I don't think it's an unsolvable one. The PTR, especially under Legion's development structure, is much more experimental and incomplete than it's been in the past. Having official patch notes makes each individual change - any of which could be reverted at any point - feel a lot more "final" than they really are.

Our approach for 7.1.5, then, was "let's focus on what it'll be when it's done" - that was clearly the wrong choice. Official PTR Patch Notes might not be the answer we need, but we definitely need a way to keep you more informed of what's happening, especially for class changes. Even something as simple as "Class Notes for PTR Build ABCXYZ" might fill the gap.

At any rate, thanks for this - it's given us a lot to think about. I know there's a big difference between saying we'll do better and actually doing better, but threads like this really help us actually improve things.

The one thing I should really say about this is the fact that you have ONE twitter account for EVERY form of feedback and question.

Why don't you like, delegate it out a bit? 
@WarcraftDevs
@WarcraftHunters
@WarcraftDK
@WarcraftPvP
@WarcraftRaid
@warcraftdungeon
@warcraftuselessquestionsthatpeopleonGDforumsaskoverandoverandover
you get the idea

I think this would just get confusing really quickly, and lead directly into one of the issues the OP mentioned which is needing to follow too many channels at once.

I have an idea for your Q&A that should get you the questions that people want answered most

Make a thread about the Q&A first and specifically state that the most upvoted questions in this thread will be adressed/responded to in the Q&A when it happens. Do this everytime you have a Q&A, that should help people get the questions they want to see and hopefully the answers they want to see
.

We briefly debated this early on but decided against it, for a few reasons:

1) We don't always have an answer for something - if a highly-upvoted question is going to get "I don't know" or "We're not sure yet" as an answer, is that acceptable?

2) Sometimes the answer lies in something we're not ready to talk about yet; for example, if "When will you add Demon Hunters" got a ton of upvotes prior to Legion's announcement, how do we handle that? Do we dodge the question (which says just as much as answering it)? Do we lie and say we have no such plans? There really isn't a good outcome there.

3) It's pretty easily abused - if I want my question to be answered, it makes sense for me to ask all of my friends/guildmates/etc to upvote my question and downvote others, even if they don't care about the answer.

4) It heavily favors playstyles or classes with the highest overall representation; it's likely for there to be entire aspects of the game we never talk about again just because there are going to be fewer people upvoting those questions.

Because of the above (and probably a couple other reasons I can't recall right now), we decided that our best approach was to just ignore upvotes/downvotes entirely.

Yes, not only is it acceptable to say, 'We don't know," or "We aren't sure yet," but that kind of transparency is absolutely necessary for quality feedback and communication. Those are great jumping off points to get good feedback from the community. Of course, hopefully you would give us more than just those statements. Hopefully, you would explain why you haven't been able to come to a decision yet, what you perceive to be the pros and cons, and why it is so difficult to make that particular call and then MAYBE the community could help you actually make the decision. 

Even if our feedback won't help make the decision easier, understanding your thought process will make it easier to accept the decision once it is made.

To be clear: I agree that "we don't know yet" can be a good thing to say. I don't think a time-limited Q&A is the right place to do that - would rather spend that time on a question we actually have an answer for.

(Source)

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      On the ‘Panels’ tab, click on the ‘Sizing’ option on the right hand side. For Bar Height, choose something like 37-40 to make the bars taller. Spacing and gaps as you like.
       
      BARS
      On the ‘Panels’ tab, select the ‘Bars’ option on the right hand side. Decrease the Mana bar height to 3 - you really don’t need it any bigger than this. You can play around with the rest of the options here.

       
      HEADERS
      On the ‘Panels’ tab, click on the ‘Headers’ option on the right hand side. Tick ‘Show’ on Headers if you want to see panels names (Group 1, Group 2, target, etc.). Untick ‘Class Color’ on Header Text if it was ticked by default. TEXT
      On the ‘Panels’ tab, click on the ‘Text’ option on the right hand side. Tick ‘Class Col.’ on Bar Text so you will see player’s nickname in his class color. Hitpoints → Show → Percent. Show Text → Name & Flags (untick ‘class’ and ‘pet owner’ if it was ticked by default. You can play around with the rest of the options (text size, color, position) here.
      HOT ICONS
      On the ‘Panels’ tab, click on the ‘HoT Icons’ option on the right hand side. In the ‘Own HoTs’ section, choose one of 2 masters that shows where your HoTs will appear and use the buttons below to view your HoTs as ‘Icons’ and ‘Text.’ In the ‘HoT Order’ section, you can assign any of your or other players HoTs, Absorbs, Shields, Procs, personal and Raid CDs to any of the 6 spots shown in the ‘Own HoTs’ diagram. You should always leave Slot 7 (the middle slot) for the ‘AoE Advice’ icon. Or not...
      Another nice option here - to change the HoT icons size.
      Click on the button “More” from the right side of HoTs positioning masters and adjust.

       
      BOUQUETS
      You maybe noticed some options in the HoT Order section that are shown on my screenshot but couldn’t be find in your options. They are the Bouquets: custom groups of Buffs / Debuffs / HoTs / CDs that could be created by a player himself.
      Let’s create a custom bouquet for example for tracking of Tank personal CDs in your raid where the tanks are Warrior and Paladin.

      Go to General→ Bouquets. Type a name for a new Bouquet and press ‘New’ Press ‘Add’ button it the Bouquet Details part Type a spell name in the ‘...or enter Buff / Debuff / HoT name’ line In ‘Select default icon’ dropdown menu always chose ‘None / Default’, otherwise you wouldn't see the appropriate icon. Add all the spells you would like to track in your ‘My tanks’ bouquet. There will be situations when you’ll have multiple CDs or HoTs that were popped simultaneously to track. Because all the spell icons from one bouquet are shown in the same place, you should use the Priority Arrows to assign the importance of every one of them (e.g. the highest priority will be shown first).
      Another possibility to work with bouquets is just to edit the defaults.
      For example, we can chose a default ‘Raid Cooldowns’ bouquet and remove, add or change priority of CDs based on our raid composition.

      After creating or editing a bouquet you can use it in the HoT icons assignments.

       
      BUFFS
      As you've may have noticed, VuhDo has a separate Buff frame as part of the package. Personally, I don’t believe there is any need for VuhDo to show your buffs. I use WeakAuras to trace my mandatory buffs (on myself and others) and you should have something similar. So, I advise that you go to the ‘Buffs’ tab → General → Uncheck ‘Enable.’ If you want to play with it later - feel free to do so.
       
      DEBUFFS
      Extremely useful in raids. You can see most of the debuffs by default in your healing frames, but sometimes the addon is not updated yet for a new raid zone or the authors wouldn’t add some debuff that you want to trace. In this section you can add or remove any debuff / buff / proc that is applicable to a player.

      Go to Debuffs→ Custom Type buff / debuff  Spell ID in the line (you can find Spell ID on Wowhead in the address line. For example: “http://www.wowhead.com/spell=642/divine-shield”- Spell ID for the Divine Shield is 642). Now it will appear in the (de)Buff list. Tick the appropriate positions if you want to see stacks or timers for the debuff. Tick 'Bar Color' if you want to see a specific debuff in some different from the default color and pick the color from palette. Click ‘Save’ Do not click ‘Apply all’ or you’ll rewrite the defaults of all the debuffs.
      If you want to remove some buff / debuff / proc from the list, choose it from the dropdown menu and click ‘Delete’.
      There is an option for a complete reset of your custom debuff settings.  This can be done under 'VuhDo Options > Tools > Reset > Buffs/HoTs > Custom Debuffs' but beware you will loose all the debuff settings you customized.
       
      PROFILES
      If you ever wanted to save your VuhDo configuration for more than one toon / spec / raid size / encounter type or to share what you have with other VuhDo users, this is the place for you.
      Saving profiles for different specs / toons:
      Go to VuhDo Options->Tools Tab->Profiles.

      On the left side in 'Profiles' part you will see a line '...or enter profile name' with some name already typed in. Change it to a name that will make you remember what exactly you are saving here. I normally use a toon name with encounter type or a toon name with a group size, but if you are going to store profiles for different specs, it may be a good idea to mention a spec too.
      I stopped on profile naming in such a details because the default name is a bit weird - it's just made of a chain of nicknames for every toon you ever saved this profile for, so after having 2-4 toons in the chain it almost impossible to understand what exactly is stored there.
       
      Type a new name for your profile and press 'Save' Button. Do not confuse 'Save' with 'Apply' or you will cancel all the changes you made.
      After saving a profile, you can choose in the central part of the Tab the activation type: by group size and / or by spec. You will be able to choose it only after profile is saved, so don't be surprised if you are not able to check anything there.
      If you want to make this profile a default for all the new characters on the account, check 'Default Profile' button.
      Loading and deleting a profile:
      If you don't want VuhDo to activate profiles for you automatically or you want to load some specific profile for a new toon, go to the 'Select a profile' dropdown menu, choose whatever you need from there and hit 'Apply'.
      To delete a profile, choose it from the same dropdown menu and hit 'Delete'.
      Settings:
      Two useful buttons: 'Quiet mode' allows you to get rid of Confirmation Dialog spam, 'Lock' prevents an accidental overwriting of a profile.
      Key Layouts:
      An important note: Spell assignments are not saved in Profiles. To save, load or delete Spell and HoTs assignments you should go to Tools->Key Layouts:

      Export and share profiles:
      You can export selected features, share or receive profiles from other VuhDo users.
      To be able to receive a profile you have to go to 'Tools->Share->Receive Data' and tick 'Enable'.
      To share a profile you should click on a button 'Share' in the 'Send Profile' area. A new window will pop up: a dropdown menu with a line where you can type specific player's name and server. The dropdown menu will show your online guildies and people you are in group / raid with (disregarding of them having or not having VuhDo).

       
      Here's an example of my VuhDo profiles:
      I made a UI screenshot with opened talent tree and VuhDo HoT assignments.
      Key Layouts (how I assign spells to mouse): remember they are configured separately from the main setup and you have to import them separately too in Tools->Key Layouts->Import

      In 5-man HoT icons I track only my HoTs because obviously there are no other healers. Threat and personal CDs people may use are being tracked through Indicators (General->Advanced->Indicators). In this bouquet everyone should add his group specifics if you are aiming for Mythic+: I found a bit redundant to keep there damage mitigation abilities for all the classes.
      Regarding the Hot Keys you see on the screen - it may be a bit confusing because I don't really use all of them but:
      1,2,3 - dps abilities
      = - Tranq
      F1 - Barkskin
      F2 - Dash
      F4 - Inner
      F - Efflorescence
      G - shapeshift
      Q - Artifact spell
      D - Ironbark mouseover macro
      J - Cenarion Ward mouseover macro
      E,H - interrupts
      T - Flourish
       
      The raid setup:
      I'm raiding Mythic so my healing frames are tuned for 20-man.

      As you can see, HoT icon section changed - now I track what other healers are doing too so we wouldn't overlap with the healing and I'm be sure that assigned damage mitigation spells are used.
      The actual strings to import are in this separate thread because it's technically problematic to update them here in guide.
       
      I have to say that there are loads of options that I didn’t speak about here. But I tried to keep it short and basic.
      I always can answer any of your questions about VuhDo or you can continue to dig it by yourselves.
    • By Stan
      Lord of the Shadow Council is ready, but so are you!
      The Nighthold opens this week and finally we'll be able to put Gul'dan to justice. Our Survival Guide has all the information you need to know about the latest Legion raid.
      No prerequisites required to enter the raid. Ahead of the Curve: Xavius is removed when Nighthold opens. The raid has ten bosses and is non-linear. The first 3 bosses need to be defeated in a specific order:  Skorpyron > Chronomatic Anomaly > Trilliax After that you get access to 5 bosses that can be killed in any order. The last two bosses that need to be killed are Elisande > Gul'dan. Defeating Gul'dan on Mythic difficulty grants the Mythic: Gul'dan achievement and the "Vengeance Incarnate" title. Players will finally end the Suramar story line and acquire the Arcanist's Manasaber mount. If you've completed Unleashed Monstrosities, you can work your way toward completing Improving on History to unlock the base appearance. The Direbeak and Bloodgazer falcosaurs require Nighthold to open before you can get your mounts - Brilliant Direbeak & Predatory Bloodgazer. Glory of the Legion Raider also has some Nighthold-related achievements and rewards Defiled Reins. Raid Schedule
      Normal and Heroic difficulties are available starting January 17. Mythic difficulty and the first wing of Raid Finder will open one week later.
      Blizzard Entertainment
      Raid Schedule: Tuesday, January 17: Nighthold Normal and Heroic difficulties open. Tuesday, January 24: Nighthold Mythic difficulty and Raid Finder Wing 1 (Arcing Aqueducts) open. Tuesday, February 7: Nighthold Raid Finder Wing 2 (Royal Athenaeum) opens. Tuesday, February 21: Nighthold Raid Finder Wing 3 (Nightspire) opens. Tuesday, March 7: Nighthold Raid Finder Wing 4 (Betrayer’s Rise) opens. (Source)
      Nighthold Guides
      Our guide section has been updated with boss guides for Nighthold, don't forget to check them out to be Ahead of the Curve: Gul'dan. Should you need any help, feel free to post in the PvE forum.
      Skorpyron Chronomatic Anomaly Trilliax Spellblade Aluriel Tichondrius Krosus High Botanist Tel'arn Star Augur Etraeus Elisande Gul'dan (TBA) 7.1.5 Class Guides
      All 36 specializations in our Class Guides have been updated for the latest patch.
      Legendary Items
      After Nighthold opens, players will be able to upgrade their existing item level 910 Legendaries to item level 940. Emissary caches will start dropping Legendaries of item level 940 by default.
      Aerythlea
      Since the release of Patch 7.1.5, we've received a number of questions relating to the Nighthold Legendary item upgrades and how that process will work. We'd like to provide some clarity on what you can expect next week.
      When the Nighthold opens next week, players who have acquired at least one Legion Legendary item will find a quest in Dalaran to upgrade a Legendary from item level 910 to 940. This quest involves collecting a number of
      Essence of Aman'Thul, which can be found in the following locations:
      Nighthold Raid Bosses Weekly Mythic Keystone Cache Emissary Bags PvP Weekly Quests Once you have completed the quest, you'll be given a Distilled Titan Essence, which can be consumed to upgrade a Legion Legendary item to level 940. The quest is repeatable, so you'll be able to earn as many Distilled Titan Essences as you need to upgrade any Legendaries you have.
      Additionally, once the Nighthold is open, any new Legendaries you discover will already be item level 940. Note that this does not apply retroactively to Emissary Bags that you may already have in your inventory when the time comes. Only new bags earned after the Nighthold is open have the chance to reward an item level 940 Legendary.
      (Source)
      Tier 19 Sets
      Nighthold is the first raid to drop sets in the Legion and we've taken a closer look at Tier 19 here.
      Nighthold Mounts
      Fiendish Hellfire Core is a guaranteed drop from Gul'dan on Mythic difficulty. The drop chance will be reduced to 1% after a new expansion is released.
      Living Infernal Core has a chance to drop off of Gul'dan on any difficulty except LFR.
      Mount Animations

      Gul'dan (Mythic Only Phase)
      This part contains major lore spoilers, proceed with caution!